Conspicuous consumption, the 50-thousand dollar Louis Vuitton bag, a platinum Rolex watch and a Porsche in the garage is so yesterday according to Elizabeth Currid-Halkett, a professor at the University of Southern California. There is a new cultural elite she calls the aspirational class. They spend their money on some things, like Fair Trade coffee, electric cars, $10 heirloom tomatoes and services including nannies and tutors for their kids. Currid-Halkett makes that case that this new kind of consumption is entrenching the privileged position of modern elites. She makes the case in her new book, The Sum of Small Things.